Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

The perfection of moral character consists in this, in passing every day as the last, and in being neither violently excited nor torpid nor playing the hypocrite.

Character | Day | Perfection |

Thomas Adams

No coming to heaven with dry eyes.

Character | Heaven |

George Matthew Adams

Upon every hand we meet with those who have some secret resentment that is ever being nurtured within their hearts. They resent the success, or happiness of some one whom they think is less deserving than they are. They resent the just recognition that comes to others from work and long effort to excel. Or, they may resent being born poor - or resent the fact that they were even born!... Strive to excel, strive to achieve, where others have failed, and you will find no space within your mind to lodge resentment. Resentment is the child of selfishness, foolish envy, and inactivity... Our life upon this earth is too valuable for resentment of any kind. There is so much to do, so much to learn - so little time in which to live and work it all out.

Character | Earth | Effort | Envy | Inactivity | Life | Life | Little | Mind | Resentment | Selfishness | Space | Success | Time | Will | Work | Child | Happiness | Learn | Think |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

To live each day as though one's last, never flustered, never apathetic, never attitudinizing - here is the perfection of character.

Character | Day | Perfection |

Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, aka Maggid of Mezeritch

I cannot teach you the ten principles of service. But a little child and a thief can show you what they are. From the child you can learn three things: He is merry for no particular reason; never for a moment is he idle; when he needs something, he demands it vigorously. The thief can instruct you in seven things: He does his service by night; if he does not finish what he has set out to do, in one night, he devotes the next night to it; he and those who work with him love one another; he risks his life for small gains; what he takes has so little value for him that he gives it up for a very small coin; he endures blows and hardship, and it matters nothing to him; he likes his trade and would not exchange it for any other.

Character | Life | Life | Little | Love | Nothing | Principles | Reason | Service | Teach | Work | Child | Learn | Value |

Yehezkel Abramsky, aka Reb Chatzkel Abramsky

View each day as a page in a book of your autobiography.

Character | Day |

Stephen Vincent Benét

Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.

Character | Day | Life | Life | Wisdom |

Pope Agapet II, aka Pope Agapetus II NULL

When we live habitually with the wicked, we become necessarily either their victim or their disciple; when we associate, on the contrary, with virtuous men, we form ourselves in imitation of their virtues, or, at least, lose every day something of our faults.

Character | Day | Imitation | Men | Victim |

Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

The greatest manifestation of your love for the Almighty can be expressed on your day of death. Before your death, you might be thinking about how you have not fulfilled all of your wishes and plans. In the moments before your death you might have complaints against the Almighty, or you might fatalistically accept your death by saying, What can be done? My body is giving in to the laws of nature. The doctors have given up hope.” Both of these attitudes are wrong You now face the greatest challenge of your life. You have the potential to submit yourself to the will of the Almighty with love. This level takes preparation. If a person has not mastered control of his thoughts, he is likely to waste his last moments thinking of petty resentments and desires. Frequently confusion and fear of death swallow up every other thought unless one has prepared for that moment.

Body | Challenge | Character | Control | Day | Death | Fear | Giving | Hope | Life | Life | Love | Nature | Thinking | Thought | Waste | Will | Wishes | Wrong | Thought |

Louis-Aimé Martin

Love is a flame which burns in heaven and whose soft reflections radiate to us. Two worlds are opened, two lives given to it. It is by love that we double our being; it is by love that we approach God.

Character | God | Heaven | Love |

W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

We are here on earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don't know.

Character | Earth | Good | Wisdom |

Honoré de Balzac

[Paraphrase] Self consciousness, while glorious for what is has done, is at the same time baneful, because it precludes man from entering the Cosmic Conscious life, which leads to the infinite - which alone can explain God.

Character | Consciousness | God | Life | Life | Man | Self | Time |

Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

Nothing destroys the potential for parents to have a close relationship with their children as disciplining through excessive fear. When children are still young, parents should be aware that one day their children will become independent. Parents who frequently use fear as a weapon create negative feelings in their children. When they grow up, those children are likely to rebel against their parents and go their own way.

Character | Children | Day | Fear | Feelings | Nothing | Parents | Relationship | Will |

Aśvaghoṣa NULL

The purpose of this discipline is to bring man into the habit of applying the insight that has come to him as the result of the preceding disciplines. When one is rising, standing, walking, doing something, stopping, one should constantly concentrate one’s mind on the act and the doing of it, not on one’s relation to the act, or its character or value. One should think: there is walking, there is stopping, there is realizing; not, I am walking, I am doing this, it is a good thing, it is disagreeable, I am gaining merit, it is I who am realizing how wonderful it is. Thence come vagrant thoughts, feelings of elation or of failure and unhappiness. Instead of all this, one should simply practice concentration of the mind on the act itself, understanding it to be an expedient means for attaining tranquillity of mind, realization, insight and Wisdom; and one should follow the practice in faith, willingness and gladness. After long practice the bondage of old habits become weakened and disappears, and in its place appear confidence, satisfaction, awareness and tranquillity. What is the Way of Wisdom designed to accomplish? There are three classes of conditions that hinder one from advancing along the path to Enlightenment. First, there are the allurements arising from the senses, from external conditions and from the discriminating mind. Second, there are the internal conditions of the mind, its thoughts, desires and mood. All these the earlier practices (ethical and mortificatory) are designed to eliminate. In the third class of impediments are placed the individual’s instinctive and fundamental (and therefore most insidious and persistent) urges - the will to live and to enjoy, the will to cherish one’s personality, the will to propagate, which give rise to greed and lust, fear and anger, infatuation, pride and egotism. The practice of the Wisdom Paramita is designed to control and eliminate these fundamental and instinctive hindrances.

Anger | Awareness | Character | Confidence | Control | Discipline | Enlightenment | Failure | Faith | Fear | Feelings | Good | Greed | Habit | Individual | Insight | Lust | Man | Means | Merit | Mind | Personality | Practice | Pride | Purpose | Purpose | Tranquility | Understanding | Unhappiness | Will | Wisdom | Failure | Awareness | Old |

H. B.

I live in the world, but I seem to myself not of it!.. Natural phenomena are but the shadows of the spirit form which they spring, as the human face changes under the influence of love, hatred or fear... When, O when, shall I be able to reveal its poetry? I see everywhere and in ever object unceasing motion, and in that motion a creative force forever and forever repeating and re-repeating the same simple process as to infinity. Through all nature the grand rhythms roll and heaven and earth are filled with the melody. Men are but boys chasing shadows. The spiritual significance of the world none seem to see - the infinite simplicity of its process are none care to understand.

Boys | Care | Character | Earth | Fear | Force | Heaven | Influence | Love | Melody | Men | Nature | Object | Phenomena | Poetry | Simplicity | Spirit | World |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

Of human life the time is a point, and the substance is in a flux, and the perception dull, and the composition of the whole body subject to putrefaction, and the soul a whirl, and fortune hard to divine, and fame a thing devoid of judgment. And, to say all in a word, everything which belongs to the body is a stream, and what belongs to the soul is a dream and a vapor, and life is a warfare and a stranger’s sojourn, and after-fame is oblivion.

Body | Character | Fame | Fortune | Judgment | Life | Life | Oblivion | Perception | Soul | Time |

Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

Instinct gave place temporarily to a system of habits, each one of which became contingent, their convergence of which became contingent, their convergence towards the preservation of society being alone necessary, and this necessity bringing back instinct with it. The necessity of the whole, felt behind the contingency of the parts, is what we call moral obligation in general - it being understood that the parts are contingent in the eyes of society only; to the individual, into whom society inculcates its habits, the part is as necessary as the whole.

Character | Individual | Instinct | Necessity | Obligation | Society | System | Society |

Jean de La Bruyère

Politeness does not always evince goodness, equity, complaisance, or gratitude, but it gives at least the appearance of these qualities, and makes man appear outwardly as he should be within.

Appearance | Character | Equity | Gratitude | Man | Qualities |